Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Oral Antibiotic Use in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Retrospective Analysis of a Privately Insured U.S. Population.
J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Feb ;49(2):647-659. PMID: 30178105
A retrospective analysis of administrative claims data from a large U.S. health insurer was performed to study a potential association between oral antibiotic use during early childhood and occurrence of later gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Among 3253 children with ASD, 37.0% had a GI-related diagnosis during the last 2 years of their 5-year health coverage enrollment period, compared to 20.0% of 278,370 children from the general population without an ASD diagnosis. Greater numbers of oral antibiotic fills during the first 3 years of enrollment were found to significantly increase the hazard rate of having a later GI-related diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratio 1.48; 95% confidence interval 1.34, 1.63) in children both with and without ASD.